Outreach and Communication; Phase Two of the Joint Industry Project on Oil Spill Response

Nicoll, A. (Oil Spill Response Limited) | Cox, R. (IPIECA)



Following the Montara (2009) and Macondo (2010) oil spill incidents, the international oil industry has undertaken an unprecedented collective effort to apply the lessons from these and other oil spill incidents to improve the management and technical aspects of oil spill response. Over the last three years the IOGP/IPIECA Joint Industry Project (JIP) on Oil Spill Response has overseen 19 specific projects to enhance knowledge and understanding of good practice across a wide range of related technical disciplines. The legacy of this effort includes a comprehensive library of peer reviewed outputs ranging from scan/ glance technical overview products through the broad suite of 24 Good Practice Guides, and also includes a number of deep study-level technical papers and reports.

The challenge today is to inculcate this vast body of technical guidance into the awareness of decision makers through a coordinated programme of communication and outreach. The overarching aim is to raise levels of knowledge and understanding relating to the tools and techniques of oil spill response amongst opinion formers and decision-makers. In so doing, industry can overcome barriers that currently restrict / prevent access to use all available response tools, based on a scientific assessment of the most appropriate response strategies.

Oil Spill Response Limited (OSRL) is working with industry on initiatives designed to socialise these outputs within a broad range of stakeholders. Key steps on this journey include:

Stakeholder Mapping: understanding the organisations where exposure to the new suite of technical outputs will offer the greatest strategic reward. OSRL has analysed a wide range of stakeholder organisations and rated them according to their respective influence to differentiate organisations that only require a passive awareness from those where coordinated engagement offers the greatest opportunity to influence decision makers.

Influence Multipliers: Seeding knowledge and understanding from within, through expanding the network of technical experts and advocates from within Oil Spill Response Organisations (OSROs) and other aligned organisations in the responder community. This strategy can also be used by member oil companies of OSRL and the JIP to reach deeper into these organisations to where oil spill response is not a core discipline.

Leverage existing forums: Ensure the JIP outputs are firmly embedded in the activities of the IMO / IPIECA Global Initiative (GI) and also make more effective use of national and regional oil industry associations and other response community networks to give appropriate exposure to the JIP outputs.

This paper will discuss each of these ongoing initiatives and will highlight the successes that have been achieved and the challenges that remain.